- Sheldon Clowdus
Single? Try online dating or speed dating or the singles group at church or clubbing or hiking or a book club or........
Married? How about dance lessons or dinner parties or the theater or concerts or karaoke or.......
Kids? There's karate or dance or football or cheerleading or baseball or gymnastics or music or........
Our culture has convinced us that if we are busy and if we are providing enriching opportunities for our kids then we are doing what we are supposed to be doing.
What I find interesting is the typical reaction of the church. Knowing that our people are busy doing and going and being we try to provide them things to do and place to go and things to be that are better than what the world has to offer. We advertise exciting church events or dynamic programs and we spread them out from Sunday morning to Wednesday night and every day in between and then ask our people to choose our options over the options the culture provides. Of course what often happens is that our options are not consistently chosen and then we try to make them bigger and better and cooler. I think sometimes the end result is that by having so many options, everything in the church becomes just something and nothing becomes the main thing.
What if, as the church, instead of spreading ourselves around so thin we just focused in on one or two things? What if instead of trying to lure people into our events, we furiously taught them the gospel and its implications at our Sunday morning services and in our small groups? What if we freed them up to do ballet and dance lessons and hiking and book clubs and taught them to be ministers of reconciliation for the sake of the gospel to the glory of God while they were there?
What if we always made the main thing the main thing?
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures -- 1 Corinthians 15:3-4
For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. -- 1 Corinthians 2:2
Does that mean that all church events are bad or useless or that anything outside of a worship service and small groups is a waste of time? Not at all. But I think we would do ourselves and our people a favor if, as church leaders, we were extremely intentional about the type of programming or events we create. Have we created programs so people have a reason to come to our churches or have we created opportunities for people to hear the gospel, learn how it impacts every area of their life, and make disciples of other people?
Maybe it is time for a little more focus.